sur·​round | \sə-ˈrau̇nd \
surrounded; surrounding; surrounds

Definition of surround 

(Entry 1 of 2)

transitive verb

1a(1) : to enclose on all sides : envelop the crowd surrounded her

(2) : to enclose so as to cut off communication or retreat : invest entry 2

b : to form or be a member of the entourage of flatterers who surround the king

c : to constitute part of the environment of surrounded by poverty

d : to extend around the margin or edge of : encircle a wall surrounds the old city

2 : to cause to be surrounded by something surrounded himself with friends



Definition of surround (Entry 2 of 2)

: something (such as a border or ambient environment) that surrounds from urban centre to rural surround— Emrys Jones

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Examples of surround in a Sentence


A wall surrounds the old city. They had the suspect surrounded. She was suddenly surrounded by a crowd of excited fans. There's a lot of uncertainty surrounding the decision. His departure was surrounded by secrecy.


the vast, featureless surround of the desert was strangely appealing to him
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Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

So let’s break down some of the myths surrounding antipsychotic medications, because these drugs aren't as scary as many people seem to think. Kasandra Brabaw, SELF, "7 Myths You Might Believe About Antipsychotic Medications," 7 Dec. 2018 But as is the case with many of China’s missions, the details surrounding this flight have been hard to come by. Loren Grush, The Verge, "This weekend, China embarks on a historic mission to land on the far side of the Moon," 6 Dec. 2018 Floor-to-ceiling glass walls maximize views of the surrounding gnarled oak trees and a distant San Francisco Bay. Candace Taylor, WSJ, "A Silicon Valley Retreat Where ‘Star Trek’ Meets ‘Star Wars’," 6 Dec. 2018 Dozens of satellite fairs happen in the days surrounding the main event. Gaby Del Valle, Vox, "Parties, private jets, and multimillion-dollar paintings: Art Basel, explained," 6 Dec. 2018 There are currently more questions than answers surrounding Airbnb’s latest announcement, although Wallpaper reports that Samara is looking to offer Backyard test units as soon as autumn 2019. Megan Barber, Curbed, "Is Airbnb’s next move building houses?," 29 Nov. 2018 Less a bar than a break-off room for smokers and selfie snappers, the indoor greenery speaks to the exotic gardens of the Mediterranean coast and the mountains surrounding nhow Marseille. Danielle Fox, ELLE Decor, "At the Nhow Marseille Hotel in France, Italian Furniture and Local Grit Lead the Design," 22 Oct. 2018 Powered by a ramjet, the round uses the surrounding air as fuel, reducing the need for fuel on board the shell itself. Kyle Mizokami, Popular Mechanics, "The Army’s New Howitzer Barrel is Ridiculously Long," 17 Oct. 2018 Back-to-school season is here and with every new grade level comes a brand new set of questions surrounding what is or isn't appropriate for your kids. Alexis Jones, Woman's Day, "QUIZ: Where Do You Stand on These Back-to-School Parenting Questions?," 23 Aug. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

The 10-by-18-foot screen is flanked by a surround-sound system built into custom millwork that evokes the feeling of an alien spacecraft. Stefanos Chen, The Seattle Times, "Real estate technology that could have a lasting effect on housing," 20 Nov. 2018 His father suggested they be used as a surround for that fireplace. Taysha Murtaugh, Country Living, "This Mansion Has Sat Virtually Untouched For 50 Years," 8 July 2017 Collect seashells to embellish a fireplace surround. 3. House Beautiful, "15 Easy Upgrade Ideas For Your House," 1 May 2013 Farther down, on blocks that were once burned out, iron fences painted a shiny black surround brick and vinyl-sided townhouses built with the help of federal funds. Ashley Southall, New York Times, "In a Changing South Bronx, Residents See New Jail as Step Backward," 2 Apr. 2018 Its sparkling light prettily speckles the surround as if brought about by its tinkling accompaniment. Robert Greskovic, WSJ, "‘Peter Pan’ Review: A Modern Neverland," 11 July 2018 The wood surround was copied from a mantel in Wynkoop House, an 18th-century stone dwelling in upstate New York that inspired some of Whitson's architectural details. Sarah Yang, House Beautiful, "Top Pin of the Day: A Classic and Comfortable Living Room," 24 Feb. 2014 Narvik Black trimmed the silver two-bar grille, front vents, headlight housing, fender badging, mirror caps, window surround, pillars, rear spoiler, liftgate, and liftgate badging. Emma Jayne Williams, star-telegram, "Land Rover’s 5th-generation Discovery excels either on or off the beaten track | Fort Worth Star-Telegram," 26 May 2018 For their installation, SCAPE filled the elegant surrounds of the pavilion with low-tech materials used to combat erosion, like bundles of willow branches (collected and used by local fishermen), coir logs, and concrete blocks. Giovanna Dunmall, Curbed, "At Venice Architecture Biennale, U.S. pavilion tackles borders and citizenship," 31 May 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'surround.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of surround


circa 1616, in the meaning defined at sense 1a(1)


1893, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for surround


Middle English, to flood, inundate, from Anglo-French surunder, from Late Latin superundare, to overflow, from Latin super- + unda wave; influenced in meaning by round entry 5 — more at water

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Statistics for surround

Last Updated

11 Dec 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for surround

The first known use of surround was circa 1616

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More Definitions for surround



English Language Learners Definition of surround

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: to be on every side of (someone or something)

: to move close to (someone or something) on all sides often in order to stop a person from escaping

: to be closely related or connected to (something)



English Language Learners Definition of surround (Entry 2 of 2)

: a border or an area that is around the outside edge of something


sur·​round | \sə-ˈrau̇nd \
surrounded; surrounding

Kids Definition of surround

1 : to enclose on all sides : encircle A fence surrounds the property.

2 : to be closely related or connected to … my actions will help to dispel this terrible myth of evil that seems to surround rats everywhere.— Kate DiCamillo, The Tale of Despereaux

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More from Merriam-Webster on surround

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with surround

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for surround

Spanish Central: Translation of surround

Nglish: Translation of surround for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of surround for Arabic Speakers

Comments on surround

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a soft lustrous wool fabric with mohair

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